When I interviewed Browns coach Eric Mangini in May for our PFT Season Preview magazine (if you haven’t already ordered it, too late . . . actually, it’s not too late we’re just trying to make you want to buy it), Mangini spoke extensively on the record. He also talked about certain things on an off-the-record basis, which I am compelled to honor due to the rules of a profession of which I’m not really a member.
Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine managed to delve with Mangini in on-the-record fashion into a topic that dominated the headlines a couple of years ago: whether the former Jets coach wanted quarterback Brett Favre, or whether Favre was thrust upon Mangini.
Wickersham reports (via Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com) that Mangini initially didn’t want Favre. But G.M. Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson did. So Mangini relented. Wickersham also reports that Mangini was told that his job was “safe, no matter what.”
The possibility that Favre would be traded to Tampa reportedly caused Mangini’s competitive juices to flow.
So Mangini got Favre, the Jets soared to an 8-3 start, Favre’s arm injury caused him to struggle down the stretch, the team lost four of five games to miss the playoffs, and when the season ended someone had to go — despite private and public assurances to the contrary.
Fast forward two years, and some of the truth comes out. Fast forward two more years, and we’ll likely know a lot more about schisms and text messages and head coaches with “no clue” in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.